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Subject: Choctaw Club
Visible in most of the film is the Choctaw Club, which means the vantage point of that part of the film was the corner of Poydra and St. Charles Ave.
The Choctaw Club was home to New Orleans' "Old Regular" political organization, and was located at 518 St. Charles Ave. The building was in close proximity to City Hall (now Gallier Hall) underscored the power of the Democratic machine over the municipal government. The Choctaw Club building was demolished during the 1970s; the site is now occupied by the Best Western Parc St. Charles Hotel.
Subject: Then and Now...
I suppose it's rather like the Mardi Gras we had this year. Except 12 people didn't get shot on Mardi Gras day back then... Not to mention the parade route shootings that occurred before Mardi Gras day...
Subject: Amazing quality
This is one of technology's best sides. When man knows how to properly handle equipment, it might seem like magic to the observers.
Rick Prelinger -
Subject: This is Kodachrome
This is actually 16mm Kodachrome reversal, not 35mm Technicolor monopack. 35mm monopack (which is said to have been quite similar to Kodachrome) was used as an acquisition format for a small number of Technicolor motion pictures. Using a dye-transfer method, images were transferred from matrices to release prints in a nonphotographic process not unlike silk-screening.
I know the color looks great -- that's how good 16mm Koda can look when well shot and well-transferred to tape.
I don't know why I have to rate this film when all I want to do is add an annotation, but I guess I'll give it five stars.
Subject: New Orleans Back Then..
A very colorful and energetic that seems to speak volumes about New Orleans, how people reacted to parades, both in the parade and out, the way people dressed, and the way people acted in Mardi Gras back then. I didnÂt see a single bead. Great for what it is.
Subject: 1941 Mardi Gras in Technicolor
I suspect this is one of those experimental films the Technicolor Corporation made in '40 and '41 to test the then-new Monopac system. Monopac allowed 3-strip color cimematography using ordinary B&W cameras. I've seen footage of the '41 Rose Bowl parade and football game in Technicolor; maybe one day those films will make their way to this great archive.
This is obviously Technicolor. No other film medium available in 1941 could have produced such rich, eye-melting colors as we see here, and nothing but a dye-transfer print (a hallmark of Technicolor films) could have held its color values as well as this footage has.
Because the cinematography is professional but not quite good enough for use in a major motion picture, I suspect this film was made by one of Technicolor's staff photographers.
In any case, the footage is priceless. I doubt any Mardi Gras celebration was so well documented in color for decades after this. I am absolutely in awe!
This footage by one of the millions of Carnival enthusiasts who have celebrated Mardi Gras in New Orleans over the last 3 centuries is a treat, especially to Carnival historians like myself who value such rare glimpses.
Featured in the footage are the parades of two krewes who no longer grace the celebrations, the Krewe of Nor (a rare children's krewe and predecessor to the current children's Krewe of Little Rascals) and the Krewe of Venus. Aside from the jerky camerawork and shoddy editing typical of the day (February 1941, nine months before the United States joined World War II) the footage gives the viewer a glimpse of a more civilized, respectfull spectacular, done with rather low-tech means. Notice the hand-drawn carriage floats with one or two people on board. Small and intimate, yet beautifully ornate in their designs. Also notice that very few beads are being thrown. In those days, catching a string of those glorious glass beads (yes, glass!) was a special gift of the season and very often became a treasured piece of jewelry in the owners' cases.
This footage also offers some marvelous insights into the revelry in the streets on Mardi Gras Day of that year. Satin-clad pirates, cowboys, clowns and cavaliers are the order of the day. Look for the banner of the Garden District walking club (one of the oldest of the walking clubs in the city at present) towards the end.
Footage like this, regardless of its deficiencies, is invaluable. It provides one of the only records now available to the general public of what Carnival was before the war, and just how much the celebrations have changed.
Visit Professor Carl Nivale's Compleat Carnival Compendium and Mardi Gras Manual at http://carlnivale.knows.it